For the first time in a long time I have succumbed to the siren call of John Scalzi's weekend assignment. I found the philosophical cunundrum he posited this week kind of amusing.
Weekend Assignment #148:
Cats. Cheese. There's only enough room on the planet for one of them --
and you have to decide which stays and which goes. Which do you choose
and why? Now, you ask, why cats and cheese? Well, why not? People like
cats; people like cheese. They're generally considered to be unrelated.
Having to choose one over the other sort of gives you insight into your
soul, about what's really important to you. Or, alternately, it's just
fun to consider. Really, let's not pretend we're doing anything too
For clarity's sake, when we say
"cats" we mean domestic cats; lions and tiger and cheetahs and such
will still be about, so you don't have to worry about taking out a
whole bunch of endangered species. When we say "cheese" we mean all
cheese, even the stuff that comes out of aerosol cans and/or is spelled
"cheez." It all goes.
Extra Credit: what's your favorite breed of cat and/or type of cheese?
Mrs. Linklater replies:
Cats or cheese? Hair balls or green mold? Which one gets tossed off the
planet? This question, while only for argument's sake, still manages to
evoke memories of noxious feline aromas. Kitty peep and poop being the
most obvious. But spoiled milk smells are also curdled in my memory. Cheeses too, despite their elevation to gourmet status, can smell just
as awful as anything a cat can deposit on your good rug.
I'm reminded of the eyewatering fumes which occur immediately after
food poisoning has caused
you to expurgate an offensive meal into the porcelain bowl. When the
sour odeur of partial digestion begins to waft up into your nostrils.
That cheese smell.
But, why linger on the icky stuffwhen we can turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of each and reflect on the best of both.
Cats are soft and furry. Is there anything more appealing? Cheese,
the other hand, does not taste very good when it's soft and furry.
Unfortunately, cats can also bite. Not a good recommendation. A bite of
cheese, however, can be as wonderful as a sip of fine wine. Cats have
always had an endearing way of waking me up in the morning by licking
me on the nose. Unfortunately, waking up to cheese on my nose doesn't
have the same appeal. But slices of cheese and fruit with flavored
crackers sound delicious for breakfast or a light lunch. When a cat
cuts the cheese, by comparison, I generally lose my appetite for all food.
When all is said and done, I'll stick with cats. Preferably half
Siamese kitties. You can have the all the cheese. Even those one of a
kind artisan wheels from Wisconsin.
Cats have so much more to offer than cheese. Personality, for instance.
And don't forget purring. Can you snuggle with a slice of cheese? Talk
to it when you come home from work? Listen to it hum next to you in
If you can, well, let's not go there.
Cheese is just a delivery system for chunks of concentrated
cholesterol. Camembert, Stilton and cheddar aren't looking out for our
best interests. And just when was the last time a block of cheese could
tell you there was a mouse in the house? Or get rid of it for you?
Cats make themselves useful creating warm spots for us where we sit and
lie down. Cheese has never been that
thoughtful. Cats are considered members of our families for life,
except in certain countries, which shall remain nameless, but one of
them rhymes with Dinah. I don't know any cheese that I'd like to have
loitering in my refrigerator more than a month or two. And even that's
Of course, as much as I prefer cats, when the cheese is gone, I will
miss snacking on smoked gouda and apples during the Bears' games. And
there's nothing quite like a slice of brie on a cracker with a bit of
Yep, I have no llife.